Pariah States

Just like Israel puts a label of “anti-semitic” on anyone who questions its war crimes and genocide of Palestinians, this time the verbal fire is directed at the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan. Israel is not alone in lashing out at the ICC. Its long-time ally and partner in crime, the United States, share the same sentiments. President Joe Biden has called Karim Khan’s request for arrest warrants of Netanyahu “outrageous.” It makes sense why the US and Israel will reject the ICC completely; them being non-members, but when the same ICC issued arrest warrants of Russian President Putin in March 2023, there were smiles and nods.

The arrest warrants are not just for Netanyahu but his Defence Minister as well, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. What has transpired in Gaza since October 7, 2023, there is less of a need for a court and a tribunal. The world has seen the crimes on their screens, thanks to social media. Being non-members of ICC, it is easier for the US and Israel to openly show their non-compliance but what about the International Court of Justice and the plea filed by South Africa against Israel for committing genocide?

Pro-genocide politicians and leaders can express their anger all they want. The world can see for its own two eyes who did what. Just like Biden rejected the seeking of arrest warrants, so did some other Republican lawmakers. Tom Cotton even went on to say that Karim Khan and his associates will not set foot in the US ever again. What they don’t recognize is that this is a blatant violation of law and a rejection of any transnational legal body of justice. If not the ICC, the likes of it are structures that the US itself erected – to hold others accountable.

Now when it is time for some self-accountability, there is only outrage from the US. This is essentially saying that we do not abide by any international law or convention. If Israel does not comply and the US supports its non-compliance, both countries need to be treated as pariah states in the international community. This is a standard the US set for the world in its rules-based order.

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